Update: Jesse Hughes has retracted his comments
Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes, who was performing during the terrorist attack at the Bataclan theatre in Paris, has suggested security guards booked for the venue had some kind of prior knowledge as they never showed up for work that November night.
Speaking to Fox Business, Hughes said that upwards of six security personnel were mysteriously absent from the gig and it was “obvious” why. When asked if he saw anything odd when he arrived at the theatre, the American rocker also said that one guard who did show up backstage wouldn’t even look at him, prompting Hughes to ask for a replacement.
“I immediately went to the promoter and said: ‘Who’s that guy? I want to put another dude on.'”
While he didn’t want to make a “definitive” statement “out of respect for the police still investigating,” he suggested they “had a reason not to show up.” The implication being clear.
No response has been made by the security in question or their representatives, and it’s not known if they were regulars at the venue or whose responsibility it was to book them. Without affirmative evidence there’s no way to know whether they no-showed for nefarious reasons as Hughes believes, or because of something more innocuous like a monetary dispute.
Either way it wouldn’t be the first time that accusations of prior knowledge have been made. The massacre that killed 89 was said to have been carried out with almost military precision and the perpetrators were well armed with Kalashnikovs and other weapons. It’s obvious that more than those at the scene will have been in on the conspiracy.
In terms of prior knowledge within the French state itself, it certainly seems that the country’s intelligence agencies were privy of a general danger. The whole international security apparatus were aware that ISIS could strike in Europe. They told us that. Furthermore Turkish authorities claim they warned France twice, starting in December 2014, about Ismaël Omar Mostefaï, a 29-year-old French citizen who is alleged to be one of the terrorists.
However as is often the case in these kinds of incidents – the line between peripheral knowledge and attackers being ‘on the radar’, and full blown knowledge of an impending attack on a specific target – is blurred. Call it paranoia, but ultimately the public has no way of knowing the full extent of what happens behind the closed doors of the security and intelligence services.
In total 130 people were killed on November 13th, 2015, in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks across Paris.